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Month: June 2018

Fireworks give Barre Bicentennial a big bang

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2018 at 10:44 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – Day 2 of the Barre Bicentennial celebration was capped with fireworks tonight. This photo shows the Van LieShout dairy farm on Route 98 near East Barre Road with the Barre water tower in the back.

The fireworks were set off near the Barre Town Park and that’s where most people gathered to watch the display.

The Bicentennial celebration concludes Sunday with an 11 a.m. church service at Barre Town Park followed by a noon potluck lunch, where people are urged to bring dish to pass and a chair.

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Barre pride on display in Bicentennial parade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2018 at 8:31 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – The Town of Barre celebrated its Bicentennial with a parade at 11 a.m. today. There were more than 30 floats and other participants who started on East Barre Road, headed north on Route 98 and ended at the Barre Town Park.

The top photo shows Jesse Farwell, his wife Andrea and their daughter Holly riding a Farmall tractor from Hu-Lane Farms.

Barre Town Clerk Maureen Beach holds her granddaughter Madeline Bloom’s hand while walking in the parade down Route 98.

A processional, including many veterans in the military, make their way north on 98.

Dennis Mathes, right, gives his brother Kaden a ride in a miniature Model T. Dennis’s father, Charles Mathes, drove the mini Model T in the 1993 parade when Barre celebrated its 175th anniversary.

Homer Mathes, 11, is on a  float for the 4-H Adventurers Club. The banner was on the back end of the float.

These parade participants are at the staging area for the parade on East Barre Road. Austin Kline has a McCormick Farmall Super A tractor from the 1950s.

Jason Spencer steps into a 1958 Chevy Biscayne. His wife Stephanie holds their daughter. The car was owned by Stephanie’s grandfather, Ed Beadle. Spencer was promoting his business, County Line Lock & Security.

Keeler Construction featured a 1928 Ford dump truck. It is driven by Larry Hill, a 43-year employee of the company. The dump truck was bought by Henry Keeler in the 1940s and his son Jim Keeler had it restored. The dump truck had been in a barn for about 20 years. Keeler Construction, one of Barre’s longest-lasting businesses, worked to spruce up the vehicle for the Bicentennial parade.

Danny Shuler and other members of the West Barre United Methodist Church enjoy the parade.

Scouts for Troop 175 carry several flags. Michael Harris drives the golf cart in front with a flag in the 1818 style. Harris is joined by a German Shepherd named Harley. They were representing the Barre Deli.

The “Elder Barres” were also celebrated in the parade. They include Bernadine Ross, 98, and Beth Nesbitt, 97. They are escorted by First Lt. Chris Provenzano and his wife Morgan, who is Nesbitt’s granddaughter. Provenzano recently returned from a nine-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Barre firefighters marched in the parade, including from left: Jerry Bentley, Ben Flansburg, Chris Flansburg and Barry Flansburg.

County Historian Matt Ballard joined the fun. He had an unusual beard style in anticipation of a beard contest later this afternoon.

There were many riders from the Orleans County ATV Association in the parade.

These 4-H Adventurers dressed from yesteryear for the parade. They include, from left: Allison Mathes, Emma Mathes, Lilly Zambito, Lilly Mathes, Alice Mathes (club leader), Aubrey Bruning, Naomi Mathes, Taylor Mathes and Sarah Mathes.

Iva McKenna, front left, joins daughters Jenny and Kerri (and Kerri’s daughter) on the float for Country Lane Veterinary Services.

A second-floor window at the Barre Deli provided a nice vantage point for the parade.

Kurt Dudley drives a tractor to pull the float for the Town of Barre.

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Barre dedicates veterans’ memorial as part of bicentennial

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2018 at 2:52 pm

‘This is to commemorate all residents from the Town of Barre who have served in the Armed Forces for the past two centuries. In memory of Fred Daniels by his family. June 30, 2018′ – plaque on new veterans’ memorial at Barre Town Hall

BARRE – Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 20 out of the Rochester area, were present this morning to dedicate a new veterans’ memorial and flag pole at the Barre Town Hall.

The family of the late Fred Daniels donated the flag pole and plaque. The stone for the monument was donated by Keeler Construction.

Daniels was 75 when he passed away on Oct. 22, 2014. He served in the US Army from 1961-1964 and was a member of the Sheret Post #35 American Legion and Past Commander of the Strickland Post #4635 V.F.W. He also volunteered as a driver with the Joint Veterans Council, taking veterans to medical appointments.

Town Supervisor Sean Pogue welcomes the crowd to the dedication. Pogue was dressed in an 1800s-era suit as part of Barre’s bicentennial celebration.

The family of Fred Daniels is pictured with the memorial after the dedication. Fred’s wife, Adrienne, is third from left in the back row. She is also the town historian.

Charlie Nesbitt, a former state assemblyman, grew up in Barre and was later a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Nesbitt today spoke about a childhood friend, Rick Engle, who was 19 when he was killed in Vietnam on Feb. 2, 1968. Engle played Little League for the Barre Cubs as a kid. He grew up on Old Route 98.

Nesbitt said Engle is a hero. He was caught in an ambush in Vietnam and was killed when he tried to save a friend who was out in the open.

“Where do we find such men?” Nesbitt said. “Look around. Right here. In this little piece of America.”

Gary Daniels is the brother-in-law of Fred Daniels. Gary noted that Nesbitt was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Nesbitt was tasked with extracting a Special Forces unit out of Laos on November 14, 1968. While under enemy fire and with one chopper in the force crashing in the jungle, Nesbitt picked up the crew and left. However, it was soon discovered that one man, John Grimaldi, had been left behind. Though low on fuel, Nesbitt turned his helicopter around and successfully rescued Grimaldi under intense enemy fire.

Daniels said his late brother-in-law was dedicated to veterans, serving in the American Legion, VFW and with the Joint Veteran Council.

Orleans County Legislator Don Allport, in back by memorial, also spoke during the dedication. Allport is the nephew of Fred Daniels. Allport said he was fortunate to grow up in the “serenity” of Barre. He remembers sledding at Pine Hill and being a part of the Boy Scouts, Troop 175.

“I hope the youth growing up today enjoy what a fantastic place this is to grow up,” Allport said.

Three Scouts – Ethan Dunn, Ivan Barry and Aiden Rush – from Troop 175 raise the American flag on the new flagpole.

Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, thanked veterans for their service. He welcomed more volunteers for the van service. Adrienne Daniels volunteers helping make appointments for the drivers. Schmidt said more volunteers are needed as drivers and in the office.

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America attended the dedication in Barre.

Keeler Construction donated the large stone for the memorial.

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Green earns berth in national Jr PGA Tourney

Contributed Story Posted 30 June 2018 at 12:15 pm

Contributed Photo – Medina’s Melanie Green took first place honors in the Western New York Jr. PGA championships held Friday at Fox Valley Golf Club to earn a spot to play in the 43rd national Girls Jr PGA Championship in Lexington Kentucky July 9-12. This is her 3rd year qualifying for this tournament.  She shot a 143 total on rounds of 77 and 66.

U9 Bombers claim Travel League title

Contributed Story Posted 30 June 2018 at 12:12 pm

Contributed Photo – The 9U AnJo Bombers have captured first place honors in the Clarence Travel league regular season by compiling a perfect 10-0 record. The Bombers finished undefeated in league play. Pictured from left to right in first row are Ryan Anderson, Graham Schultz, Jeter Serrano, Drew Walker, and Aidan Papaj. Second row are Coach Xavier Serrano, James Serrano, Nikolas Monaco, Brayden Seitz, Jowell Garcia, Nick Gagliardi, Dominic Leo, and Coach Chris Walker.

Pirates nip Cubs in playoff title contest

Contributed Story Posted 30 June 2018 at 12:10 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Vinny Gray started for the Cubs and Aleks Seefeldt for the Pirates during Thursday’s Minor Division playoff championship game at Somerset which was won by the Pirates.

The Medina Savings and Loan Pirates edged past the Woodroe Realty Cubs 7-6, with a walk-off single in extra innings to win the Medina Loyal Baseball, Minor Division Championship on Thursday evening at Somerset.

Timmy Vasquez singled in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Max Pilon for the winning run.  The Cubs had scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game and force extra innings.

Pirates starting pitcher Aleks Seefeldt threw three innings of one run baseball striking out eight.  Vasquez threw the next three giving up five runs but keeping the Pirates in the game striking out 7.  Sawyer Lilleby came in and pitched one inning, striking out three batters.

On the hitting side for the Pirates, Lathan McEwen-Miller’s lone hit was a timely double to score two runs.  Seefeldt had two hits and scored two runs.  Shane Fearby and Vasquez both had three hits a piece. Pilon put on a hitting clinic going 4-4 with a double and two triples.  He also scored four times.

“Every kid played their hearts out,” said Pirates  Cosch Matt Fearby including Jaden Luxon, Caleb Renko, Devin Fuller and TJ “Champy” Champney.

The Cubs were led by Briely Allen who had three hits, including two doubles and five RBI’s.  Vinny Gray contributed two hits, including a RBI double and scored twice.  Ethan Page also had two hits and he scored twice.  Camden Fike added a single and scored two runs.  Brennan Allen had a single.

Cubs coach, Mike Gray said, “As a coach, this was one of the best games I have been a part of.  Watching these kids play as hard as they did, fighting back, showing great sportsmanship, this is what youth sports should be about.  Just a great baseball game.  I want to thank all of my Cubs players, Cubs parents and Cubs supporters for a fantastic and successful 2018 season.”

Cubs 4, Somerset Yankees 1
The Woodroe Realty Cubs beat the Somerset Yankees 4-1 in the semifinals.

After giving up a lead-off home run to the Yankees, Gray and Fike shut down the Yankees bats, with help by great defensive plays in the field.

Fike led the offensive attack by having three hits, scoring twice and having a RBI. Allen had two hits and a RBI. Gray contributed a RBI single and scored once. Bradley Goyette had a RBI single. Levon Fuller reached base twice, including a single and he scored a run. Owen Sargent, Ethan Page, and River Jones all added singles.

MAAC Clothing Depot is headed to new location

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2018 at 8:05 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The MAAC Clothing Depot, which goes back to at least 2005 at Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God in Medina, had its last day at the church. Volunteers that run the depot will reopen the newly named MAAC Thrift Depot on July 9 at 536 Orient St., a former Bells supermarket.

A group of volunteers from several Medina churches started the depot about 40 years ago in a church basement. There are now about 40 volunteers running the effort.

“We’ve come a long way, but only with the help of the generous and caring  people of the community of Medina,” said Sue Metzo, one of the long-time volunteers.

The clothing depot needed to leave Calvary, the former Medina High School, because the site was acquired by Roger Hungerford and Talis Equity to be converted into apartments.

The Depot has provided a way for residents to donate quality clothing and housewares, which are then purchased by customers, especially many in lower-income families, Metzo said.

The MAAC raises about $30,000 to $35,000 from the Clothing Depot each year and those funds are donated back to the community, assisting Scouts, church projects, senior citizens, high school scholarships, Hospice of Orleans and other organizations.

Provided photo

The former Bells site is owned by Matt Mundion. Metzo said the building will be a better location for displaying the used clothing, furniture and other items. The site has one big room. At Calvary, the MAAC used a larger room and then four smaller rooms.

The MAAC Thrift Depot will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to noon; Tuesday from 9 to noon & 5 to 7 p.m.; Thursday from 9 to noon; and Saturday from 10 to noon. The new “1/2 price day” will be the first Tuesday of the month.

The site on Orient Street will have drop-off windows/chutes that are available 24/7. The MAAC accepts good, clean clothing, shoes, and jewelry; clean household items in good condition, including small appliances, small furniture, books, toys, linens, DVDs, CDs and kitchen items.

“Donate wisely  because we have to pay to get rid of unacceptable items,” Metzo said.

The MAAC asks that items not be left in bags or boxes outside. If they are too large for the chute/window, fit in smaller bags.

The MAAC cannot accept TVs, monitors, computers, video equipment, DVD/VHS players, bowling balls or typewriters.

For more information, email, or check Facebook at MAAC Clothing Depot.

“We want to thank everyone who has helped in any way, whether it was a gift of time and effort, or financial help,” Metzo said. “We are so appreciative.”

Anyone wishing to send a monetary gift can mail it to: MAAC, PO Box 253, Medina, NY 14103.

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Area residents warned of excessive heat

Staff Reports Posted 30 June 2018 at 7:09 am

Will top 90 daily the next week, with Sunday near 100 degrees

Photo by Tom Rivers: Tractors are lined up in the Barre Town Park for the town’s 200th anniversary celebration which continues today and Sunday.

It’s going to be hot the next week in Orleans County and Western New York. Today is forecast to reach 93 and Sunday will reach 98. The heat indexes will top 100 on both days.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a heat advisory for Orleans and several WNY counties from noon today until noon on Sunday, and an excessive heat warning from noon Sunday to 10 p.m. on Monday.

“Consecutive days of dangerous heat and humidity will bring an increased risk for heat related illness,” The Weather Service said. “The elderly, very young, pregnant, and those with heart and respiratory conditions that don`t have access to air conditioning are especially at risk during long lasting heat waves.”

The highest heat index values will be from about noon through 8 p.m. each day.

The Weather Service urges people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has also issued an air quality alert from 11 a.m. today until 11 p.m. Sunday.

Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for ozone, the DEC said. The air quality index was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.

When pollution levels are elevated, the state Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician.

The heat wave continues through the week with high temperatures forecast at 96 on Monday, 92 on Tuesday, 91 on Wednesday (July 4th), 92 on Thursday and 90 on Friday.

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Albion native was prolific illustrator for Disney

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 30 June 2018 at 6:38 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 26

Henry “Hank” Lyon Porter, a native of Albion, illustrates an insignia for the 108th Observation Squadron during World War Two as his boss, Walt Disney, observes.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in December of 1937, is perhaps one of the most iconic animated cartoons ever produced by Walt Disney. As the first full-length animated cartoon, Snow White is one of Disney’s more recognizable characters even today. So, would you believe that this artistic masterpiece was made possible, in part, thanks to a man from Orleans County?

Henry Lyon Porter was born in 1901 in the Village of Albion to Wells H. Porter, a piano tuner, and Nellie Lyon. Porter spent his early childhood in the vicinity of West and West Bank streets and graduated from Albion High School in 1918. At the age of seven, his mother died of cancer leaving his father to care for him; Ella Jackson, the family’s housekeeper, helped raised Henry and his younger brother Allen. Porter was left-handed, and his artistic talents quickly surfaced as a young man, so it is no surprise that he was an illustrator for the Chevron and illustrated the cover for the 1920 Albion High School Yearbook; the cover shows a distressed graduate contemplating the various paths into the professional world. He was also proficient as a pianist.

After completing his studies at Albion, he left for Chicago where he enrolled at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Although his early professional career seems disjointed, he spent some time working for the Knickerbocker Press in Albany as an illustrator and later operated his own commercial artist business in Buffalo for nearly eight years. At some point Porter was given an opportunity to enter the New York School for Walt Disney Animators, which he graduated from in 1936. He quickly picked up and relocated to the Los Angeles studio of Walt Disney to begin his work as an illustrator.

The company was amidst the production of the largest animated undertaking in the history of film to date; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In earlier years, cartoons were often “shorts” that appeared in advance of longer feature films. Disney pushed the envelope, seeking to further expand the impact of animation. To produce such a film was no small task. Illustrations were produced by hand; thousands upon thousands of cartoon images were drawn by dozens of artists to produce the smooth flow of the film.

Despite his rather “late” arrival on the project, Porter found himself in the middle of production efforts. In a letter he wrote home to his father in December of 1937 and later appeared in local papers, he described the painstaking work that went into the detailed illustrations. In this letter, he encouraged the readers to watch for the scenes that he penned. Where the dwarfs exit the mine with shovels, singing “Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s home from work we go,” they suddenly stop short and pile up onto one another; Porter was responsible for this scene. He also notes that the scene in which the dwarfs force Grumpy to take a bath in a watering trough was “a loo-loo of a scene, was it tough! I worked six months on it.” He also worked on a scene where Dopey gets soap in his mouth and blows bubbles. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this whole movie was the fact that it took illustrators months to produce these scenes, ultimately requiring three years to produce in full.

A simple Google search of “Hank Porter” reveals pages upon pages of auctions for pencil drawings and paintings produced by Porter over the years. Despite his prolific career with Disney, he was overshadowed by his boss and lost his identity as did many of Disney’s illustrators. What we know of his work was passed down by family and some interesting publications about his work during World War Two. During the war, commanding officers submitted requests for illustrated insignias produced by Disney’s company. In this particular photograph, Walt Disney watches as Porter drafts an emblem for the 108th Observation Squadron, depicting a “sharp-eyed eagle” to be displayed on the squadron’s aircraft. Several of these illustrations along with an image of Porter with Roy Williams appeared in the May 26, 1941 issue of Life magazine.

Porter was one of two Disney artists selected to draft these insignias, all produced at no charge to the U.S. military. Porter quickly became Disney’s most dependable illustrator, his boss often calling him “the one-man art department.” He illustrated hundreds of these insignias that appeared on trucks, tanks, ships, and planes across the world. Even more significant than these contributions are the other notable accomplishments that we are aware of. Porter is credited with the redesign of Donald Duck. It is also believed that Porter was responsible for crafting the iconic “looping D” that adorns Disney’s signature. During the 1930s and 1940s, Porter was one of a few illustrators authorized to reproduce Disney’s signature for autographs. So many of those signatures passed around by Walt Disney were the handiwork of Porter.

Unfortunately, Porter’s career was cut short with his untimely death on October 7, 1951. His body was returned to Albion and was interred at Mt. Albion Cemetery.

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2 local Public Health officials part of ‘emerging leaders’ initiative

Posted 29 June 2018 at 5:44 pm

Pettit and Bedard look to further transform Orleans and Genesee health departments

Press Release, Orleans and Genesee County Health Departments

Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, will work to transform the role of public health in Genesee and Orleans Counties as part of the third cohort of The Kresge Foundation’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health initiative.

Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health was designed to provide public health leaders of county and local health departments to build additional knowledge and skills the challenges public health professionals face in their communities. The initiative is designed to develop local public health leaders in pairs and each pair includes the health officer and a future leader from the public health agency.

As a team, Paul Pettit and Brenden Bedard, Deputy Director / Director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, will be asked to challenge and support each other while building skills and competencies together.

“Public health leaders are valuable assets to our communities,” said Dr. Phyllis Meadows, senior advisor to The Kresge Foundation’s Health Program and the Emerging Leaders in Public Health lead. “Leaders in this program will have the opportunity to create meaningful and lasting change in their agencies that will positively impact those they serve.”

During the program, Pettit and Bedard will participate in an action-oriented program focused on the design and implementation of a transformative concept that shifts or expands the capacity of their local department.

They will also receive a grant up to $125,000 as well as coaching and technical assistance to evolve their ideas into action.

“We are excited to be a part of this national program,” stated Pettit. “Our project will be based on the development of a comprehensive telehealth program in Genesee and Orleans Counties to address our provider capacity and access issues.”

Pettit and Bedard join 19 other teams from across the country selected to participate in the third cohort of Emerging Leaders in Public Health. Collectively, the 20 health departments represented by cohort leaders serve nearly 10 million community members in communities across the country.

“This is a unique opportunity for our two rural counties to be on a national platform,” stated Bedard. “Not only will we be working on our project but have the opportunity to share strengths and challenges with other local health departments across the nation.”

The team will also join a growing community of public health leaders supported by The Kresge Foundation. Since 2015, 64 public health leaders have been trained through Emerging Leaders in Public Health. With the addition of Cohort III, Kresge meets its goal of providing leadership development and resources to more than 100 local, public health leaders across the country so that they can approach public health in a new way.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit

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